electric cars

electric cars

Mitsubishi is returning to this year’s Pikes Peak International Hill Climb with an improved iteration of its MiEV electric race car . After coming second and third in the Electric Modified class last year, Mitsubishi will be looking to cross the finish line in first position with an aerodynamically optimized and more powerful vehicle.

Specifically developed for the grueling Pikes Peak course, The MiEV Evolution III benefits from a redesigned tube-frame chassis and reshaped bodywork, the latter modeled after extensive wind tunnel testing. The resulting single-seater is lighter that its predecessor and provides more downforce thanks to its huge front spoiler and massive rear wing.

Fitted with electric motors at all corners, the Evolution III is also a lot more powerful than last year’s model, as the units now deliver a total output of 611 horsepower (450 kW). That’s a 68-horsepower increase over the Evolution II, which had 543 electrified ponies (400 kW) on tap. Enabling the vehicle to handle all that additional power is Mitsubishi’s redesigned Super All-Wheel Crontrol (S-AWC) system, one that returns better handling and improved traction control.

Driving duties for the 2014 Pikes Peak were handled to Hirochi Masuoka and Greg Tracy, the same aces that took both MiEV Evo IIs to podium finishes last year. While Tracy is a six-time Pikes Peak motorcycle champion, Masuoka has yet to experience success in the Rocky Mountains. However, the Japanese has two Dakar Rally overall wins to his name.

The 92nd running of the "Race to the Clouds" is set to begin on June 29 near Colorado Springs, Colorado.

Click past the jump to read more about the 2014 Mitsubishi MiEV Evolution III.

You’re looking at a flatbed trailer full of "slightly used" BMW 1-Series ActiveE electric test cars that recently paid a visit to the crusher. The saddening sight of low-mileage Bimmers spray painted, pancaked, and parked atop each other is an unexpected part of the automaker’s initial testing of fully electrified vehicles in preparation for the i3 and i8 models.

BMW launched the testing program in 2010 with some 700 1-Series in a massive real-world field study with regular owners (that BMW termed electronauts) behind the wheels. BMW studied everything from driving habits to the cars’ performance over time while the owners reported back their thoughts and findings. However, now that the production version of the i3 is available and the i8 coming in limited numbers, , BMW ended the extended lease program.

The automaker announced it would be sending many of the used cars to a car-sharing service in California, but only 70 units have been allotted. The remaining cars’ fates were left in question as the owners turned in their cars for new i3 vehicles. That is, until this pictures surfaced recently on Facebook.

Granted, the ActiveE cars were all pre-production models that could never legally be outright sold to a regular buyer, but we can’t help but wonder why BMW isn’t donating these leftover cars to high school and college technology programs around the country. Perhaps we’ll take solace in knowing this flatbed represents only a small portion of the 700 ActiveE electric cars and the rest might receive happier fates.

Click past the jump to read more about the BMW ActiveE.

Source: Autos Yahoo

This is it, BMW . Years of research, testing, and development has culminated in the upcoming release of the new BMW i8 . With the arrival of BMW’s first plug-in hybrid supercar drawing closer and closer, the German automaker has launched a global campaign to showcase the history of the i8, from its genesis as a concept vehicle all the way to its arrival in dealerships in August 2014. The campaign began on May 9th and will run the gamut of media platforms, ranging from TV spots and print ads, all of which tell the story of a car that has, in so many ways, become synonymous with BMW technology.

The unquestioned star of this campaign is the i8, putting the focus on the hybrid supercar ’s design, performance, and innovation. If anything, BMW is pulling out all the stops with this media blitz, enlisting Gus Van Sant, the man behind Oscar-winning films such as “Good Will Hunting," “Milk” and “My Private Idaho," to direct the three TV spots, namely "Genesis," "Powerful Idea," and "Attitude".

Complementing the TV spots will be a series of seven print ads that highlight the i8’s attributes as a real car for the ages. Like Van Sant’s work on the TV spots, these print ads carry the cache of being photographed by renowned photographer Uwe Düttmann.

If there was any question as to how important the BMW i8 is to the Bavarian automaker, the fact that the company is going to this length to promote the hybrid supercar tells you that the i8 could very well be one of those iconic cars that defines this BMW generation.

Click past the jump to read more about the BMW i8.

A high-performance version of the ELR has been in the rumormill ever since Cadillac introduced the plug-in hybrid , but the Detroit-based manufacturer has been rather silent on the matter. The vehicle was engulfed in even more obscurity earlier this year, when GM vice president Mark Reuss said Cadillac is looking at expanding the coupe ’s "tuning envelope" without revealing any actual details.

We have no idea what that means, but we might find out by the end of the year because the manufacturer started testing an ELR that appears to be sportier than the standard version launched for the 2014 model year. The news comes via Autoblog, who revealed that a coupe fitted with larger brakes and four-piston Brembo calipers borrowed from the Buick Regal GS just hit the streets.

Details are scarce right now, but an updated brake package can only mean one thing: Cadillac is planting more horsepower under the ELR’s hood. Add the fact that it wears a new grille hidden under a camouflaged nose and a new set of wheels, and it’s evident that a brawnier ELR is starting to take shape.

What’s more, the said coupe has been spotted in the company of a Tesla Model S , the all-electric sedan that’s been smoking Dodge Vipers at the drag strip .

Still, there’s no confirmation that Cadillac is indeed prepping an ELR-V, but we’re definitely looking forward to seeing an ELR with more than 207 horsepower and 295 pound-feet of torque at its disposal.

Click past the jump to read more about the potential 2016 Cadillac ELR-V.

Source: Autoblog

We cover a lot of high-speed shenanigans here at TopSpeed, but this bit of news might take the cake for the fastest quarter-mile run we’ve seen in a long time. Then again, drag racing legend Don “Big Daddy” Garlits did set the world speed record for the fastest quarter mile time for an electric vehicle . Take a gander at the video above to see that ‘lectric sled complete the run in 7.258 seconds at 184.01 mph.

Through the shaky camera work, you’ll watch Garlits’ 2,000-horsepower electric dragster shoot from the starting line almost silently. With no exhaust noise, only the massive tires gripping the pavement is audible.

Making this possible is an array of lithium-polymer batteries comprised of four packs. The packs are divided up with two on each side of the car, with each pack containing 300 cells. The batteries produce 420 volts and 3,600 amps that feed six 7.5-inch series-wound DC motors. In total, the car produces 1,500 kilowatts, or roughly 2,000 horsepower.

Excluding those Top Fuel dragsters that rock massive hand-built V-8 engines snarling incomprehensible amounts of horsepower, this electric dragster might be the fastest thing on the planet. However, Garlits told Wired that he wouldn’t be satisfied till the car breaks the 200 mph barrier and drops the time into the six-second range.

Source: Wired

Factory Five Racing has been a front-runner in custom kit cars and hot rods for quite some time, building replicas of cars long since out of production. The California-based company also designed and built its own complete car called the 818 using drivetrain components from a Subaru WRX. However, for the particular car pictured above, the drivetrain takes a completely new spin on performance.

Missing is the usual Subaru Boxer engine, replaced by a AC35x2 motor fed by a 16-kWh lithium iron phosphate battery constructed of two 8-kWh sub-packs. The motor and battery unit is still connected to a WRX five-speed manual transmission that allows for reduced energy consumption and management of the motor’s output.

Speaking of output, the motor zaps out 165 horsepower and 189 pound-feet of torque to the rear wheels. It might not seem like much, but the entire car will weigh just under 2,000 pounds – even with its body panels attached. Its claimed top speed is 150 mph, and though its still untested, the goal is likely obtainable.

Putting this electrified beast together are two other California companies that know a thing or two about building cars and electricity. EV West is undertaking installing and calibrating the air-cooled, Hi Performance Electric Vehicle Systems-sourced electric motor while the guys at 33 Machine work to incorporate all the components within the modified Factory Five Racing tube chassis.

In a video past the jump, the naked car squirrels around a test track with all the sidewise shenanigans of a V-8-powered muscle car, but of course is completely silent while smoking its rubber.

Click past the jump to read more about 33 Machine’s 818 EV

Posted on by TB +  

The Mercedes-Benz B-Class Electric Drive is very different from the norm for Mercedes. Instead of the big V-8s featured across the network, this little car hums along silently on batteries driving its front wheels. It will be the first all-electric vehicle from Mercedes-Benz, and the first of any B-Class to cross the pond. This matches the latest company strategy to fatten the range of models from all sides.

Most of the systems that charge and run the little B-Class will be shared with its bright-yellow sibling: the upcoming SLS AMG Coupe E-Cell . Both systems are part of a deep tech partnership between Mercedes parent company Daimler and Tesla. Fruit from this sharing agreement has been limited to date, and arguably, some of the most sour fruit on the branch via the Smart ED . That car ran Tesla Roadster parts, but downsized. The resulting “car” was appallingly slow. Tesla didn’t seem to be sharing the good, M5-beating stuff yet.

This is set to change when the B-Class Electric Drive hits U.S. showrooms in January 2014. The model will arrive in dealers first before a limited roll-out in Europe.

As Mercedes’ first viable EV, the B-Class Electric is a complete package that excels in its mission of effortless city efficiency plus Mercedes-levels safety, durability, luxury and ownership experience.

Updated 04/30/2014: Mercedes announced prices for the 2014 B-Class Electric Drive which will go on sale in summer 2014. The model will be priced at $41,450, excluding $925 destination and delivery. Customers may be eligible for federal tax credits (which run up to $7,500).

Click past the jump for the full review.

Tesla’s legal team has yet another case added to their already cluttered desks as the self-described "King of Lemon Laws" attorney Vince Megna files a suit against the California automaker with allegations of a defective product. Already contending with the New Jersey car sales ban fiasco, Tesla must now confront the auto industry’s most notorious lawyer and his Franklin, Wisconsin-based client.

The issues apparently started when Megna’s client purchased a Tesla Model S in March of 2013 for a cool $98,000. Shortly after delivery, the car had troubles starting and holding a charge. With no dealers around, the car had to be towed an hour and a half south to Chicago, IL. Over the first five months of ownership, the Model S spent a total of 66 days in the shop.

After attempting to have Tesla buy back the car on three separate occasions — as possible under the Federal government’s Lemon Law — the owners contacted Megna for help.

With a reputation for never going easy on automakers, Megna has been known to make short videos full of ironic humor, wit, and duct tape-wearing paralegals detailing his clients’ cases, just as you can see in the video above.

Be sure to stay tuned to TopSpeed for any developing information on Tesla’s first Lemon Law case.

Click past the jump for the video and to read more about the Tesla Model S.

It is infuriating that this news even deserves printing, but when faced with massive change and new technology consumers are overtly concerned. After a pair of isolated incidents that resulted in Tesla Model S vehicles to catch on fire, due to a damaged battery pack, Tesla has designed an entirely new underbody protection system that uses multiple stage of protection, as well as exotic materials like titanium.

Let us just clear the air first. As Tesla claims in its press release, the odds of any Model S catching on fire are far less likely than in a standard gasoline-powered car. According to Tesla there were more than 200,000 gasoline car fires last year in the United States alone. Compared to two Model S fires. In North America. One of the fires was a result of a collision that happened at more than 100 mph. Would you be even slightly concerned if a car crashing at 100 mph had burst into a fireball?

Nevertheless, people were concerned about safety with the Model S, so Elon Musk and the gang have responded. The new underbody system has been created to prevent punctures and damage from any sort of road debris collision from concrete to hardened steel. During testing, Tesla even mounted pointed objects into the test surface at the perfect angle to force a "piking" event, and the new protective system successfully prevented any damage.

The Tesla Model S was already one of the safest vehicles currently in production, and now it might just be one of the safest vehicles in all of existence.

Click past the jump to read more about the Tesla Model S’s triple underbody shield.

Audi R8 E-Tron

The Audi R8 E-tron is officially a ’go’ after Audi successfully made revisions to make the electric sports car run longer distances than its initial range.

So, it looks like the on-again, off-again status of the R8 E-tron has now been resolved, and not a moment too soon because Audi has spent a pretty long time coming to this decision. To be fair, the German automaker understood that to green light the production of the R8 E-tron, significant improvements had to be made to increase the model’s range of 134 miles.

It turns out that the solution, according to Ulrich Hackenberg, board member for technical development, was found after significant progress had been made in battery technology, including the way it was packaged, which made them more space efficient.

Ultimately, Audi successfully bumped up the E-Tron’s range, thanks to a re-engineering program, and to be fair, it wasn’t just a marginal increase in range. From the initial 134 miles, Hackenberg’s team of engineers managed to more than double the electric sports car’s range to an impressive 279 miles.

So with that headache resolved, the road to production for the R8 E-Tron just got a lot smoother, even though a specific time frame for its arrival has yet to be announced.

But hey, one problem at a time, right? The important thing is the R8 E-tron is going to be produced after all, even if the decision that led to it took a lot longer than a lot of people anticipated.

Click past the jump to read more about the Audi R8 E-tron.

Source: AutoCar

Back to top